SFA is committed to advancing grass-fed livestock production in the Upper Midwest, and we do this through our ongoing GrazeFest series. From our yearly farm-and-food session at the Mill City Farmers Market to Pasture Profitability Field Days to grazing-based education at our Annual Conference, SFA is dedicated to improving education and awareness of the benefits of pasture techniques within our Farmer-to-Farmer Network™.
For questions regarding GrazeFest, contact SFA Livestock and Grazing Specialist Kent Solberg at 218.445.7580 or sevenpinesfarm andfence@ gmail.com. For more information on our Field Days, visit SFA’s Pasture Profitability home page.
Click here to download SFA’s new Cover Crop Fact Sheet, a one-page guide to the basics of cover cropping by SFA Livestock and Grazing Coordinator Kent Solberg. Learn the basics of cover cropping, view examples of major crop types, and find Kent’s recommended resources.
Like this Fact Sheet? Email SFA Communications Coordinator Jason Walker (jasonsfa-mnorg) and tell him you want to see more like this.
News and Events
SFA graziers, take notice of the following announcement: State Wetland Restoration Funds Set Up to Help Farmers
The MN Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) has approx. $5 million allocated for restoring drained and partially drained marginal fields (click here for more information). These grants are based on the following regional locations: West Central, up to and including Norman and Mahnomen counties; Central, up to southern Crow Wing and Aitken; Southwest, including parts of Le Sueur, Waseca, and Freeborn counties; and all of the metro counties.
If you prefer speaking directly to a person (instead of navigating the State agency website) call Beth Markhart at 651.203.6019 for a simple, straightforward explanation of what this program means for you and your land. Beth has over 20 years of experience with restoring wetlands and other natural resources in Minnesota. As BWSR has prioritized the restoration of ‘less wet’ wet prairies and meadows, Beth can discuss with you the feasibility of restoring these specific areas on your land for payment and also using them for mob grazing or other activities. Most importantly, this program does not require you to do the restoration yourself!
Advanced Grazing Workshop
The 2013 SFA Annual Conference held a special all-day Advanced Grazing Workshop on Feb. 15, 2013, at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska.
As part of the GrazeFest series of events, SFA’s Livestock and Grazing Specialist, Kent Solberg, moderated this daylong workshop that featured a roster of experts to take you to the next level with your pastures and livestock. The room was packed, and Solberg said attendees really appreciated the information packed into the daylong event.
At the Advanced Grazing Workshop, Dr. Allen Williams of Grass Fed Beef, LLC, discussed trends and opportunities in grass-finished beef production, as well as advanced pasture and forage management techniques for grass based livestock systems. Speaking on considerations for finishing beef cattle on pasture and forages was Howard Moechnig, owner of Midwest Grasslands, former NRCS Grazing Specialist, and author of the authoritative book, “Improving and Sustaining Forage Production in Pastures.” Keith Kloubec, a District Conservationist with the Carver County NRCS office, presented a session entitled “Pasture management and Soil Health.” And finally, Solberg discussed profit opportunities for pasture-based livestock systems.
Energized Fencing Seminar
The Sustainable Farming Association sponsored a fencing seminar Oct. 13, 2012, in Fergus Falls led by SFA’s Kent Solberg (right), owner of Seven Pines Farm and Fence of Verndale and an instructor in the Sustainable Food Production program at M-State in Fergus Falls. Kent has 18 years of professional experience designing and installing energized fence systems for livestock. The workshop was sponsored by SFA, Sustainable Food Production and the Minnesota Dairy Initiative.
For more photos, visit our Pasture Profitability homepage.
Pasture Profitability Workshops
Attendees gained expert advice on pasture-based livestock farming and more during a pair of Pasture Profitability Field Days in fall 2012: Sept. 29 near Wadena, and Oct. 6 near Edgerton. Also held was an event Oct. 20 in Staples for returning veterans who are interested in livestock farming. To learn more, and to see photos from the events, click here.
To view a story and photos from the Oct. 6 workshop via the Pipestone County Star, click here. Thanks to reporter Mavis Fodness for her attendance at our workshop.
Minnesota Dairy Initiative is here to help
The Minnesota Dairy Initiative is a program that promotes a healthy and vibrant dairy industry in Minnesota. SFA is a project partner with MDI; to learn more, click here.
GrazeFest at Mill City Farmers Market
As part of our ongoing GrazeFest series of events, SFA partnered with Mill City Farmers Market to host a chef/farmer session at the market June 30, 2012. Mill City Farmers Market is held at the Mill City Museum next to the Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis. SFA farmer vendors from the market provided their products to local chefs, who demonstrated to the market visitors how cooking with local food can be fun, easy and, of course, delicious.
SFA events coordinator Jerry Ford, communications coordinator Jason Walker and New Crops coordinator Bobby Wenner (at right) as well as SFA volunteer members Mary Jane Miller and Emilyrose Pfaltzgraff were at the market, too, talking SFA with passersby and spreading the word about our organization, particularly our upcoming Festival of Farms.
SFA member Jim VanDerPol was on hand, too, signing copies of his book, “Conversations With the Land,” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and culinary coordinator Miller was working alongside the chefs and selling copies of the Garlic Festival cookbook.
For more information on grass-fed beef, visit the following sites:
Click this link for American Grassfed’s A Meat Terminology Primer for Consumers.
Contacts for Sustainable Farming Association:
Kent Solberg, Livestock & Grazing Specialist
18618 Co. Rd.23
Verndale, MN 56481